Photo by Cheryl Webb, Secretary/Treasure of Mansfield Community Fire Dept.

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Henry County Officials Investigate Possible Arson

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

HENRY COUNTY- Tenn.- Firefighters in Henry County are now calling the devastating fire that displaced a family of five suspicious, launching an arson investigation.

Investigators said a suspicious fire destroyed a family of five's mobile home Saturday morning. Both Mansfield and Paris Fire Department's responded to the scene around 10 a.m. where they worked for hours to tame the flames.

Home owners Jeremiah and Stephanie Long told 7 Eyewitness News their family has lost everything.

"It's just overwhelming, I don't know how to handle it," said Jeremiah Long.

Family members said their biggest loss was their family dog who was kenneled up inside at the time of the blaze.

"I think about Roxy having to sit there and look at everything and not being able to do anything," said Stephanie Long, " I think about all of the family air looms my grandmother's wedding set."

The family said they remember turning off all of the lights and leaving their home in perfect condition.

"The only light I even turned on in the house was the bathroom light while I was putting my makeup on and I turned it right off, " said Stephanie Long," I don't use straightener irons or anything like that."

Firefighters said they believe the blaze began in the couple's bedroom, but investigators have not yet determined the source.
The Longs said they believe the fire is arson related because the door looked like it had been kicked in.

"The first responder who arrived said that the door was laying flat when they got here, almost like it may not have been an accident, " said Stephanie Long.

Homeowners also said they were missing property.

" I can't find one of my guns that should have been in the pile of guns that burned up," said Jeremiah.

Officials said they too have their suspicions which is prompting an arson investigation to look into the possibility this fire was intentionally set.

"To ease the minds of everybody when it's an unknown cause we will follow up," said Darren Webb of Mansfield Community Fire Dept.

The couple has three children, two seven year old boys and a three year old girl. They said they are terrified at the thought of an arsonist targeting their family and are praying for answers soon.

"I'm just on edge, nervous its going to be hard," said Jeremiah Long, "If it was just me and her it wouldn't be a big deal, but with our kids it's just hard."

If you would like to help donate clothing and food to this family contact the Mansfield Community Fire Department for donations. The Long family told 7 Eyewitness News they need immediate help with school clothing and supplies.